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Oppositional Pre-electoral Coalition Formation in Authoritarian Regimes

  • Michael Wahman
Publiceringsår: 2010
Språk: Engelska
Dokumenttyp: Konferensbidrag


Empirical and theoretical literature on elections in authoritarian regimes has illustrated the importance of oppositional cohesion. It has been argued that these elections are more likely to result in positive democratic effects as well as oppositional victory if the opposition has

formed a unified pre-electoral coalition.

Still, our knowledge is limited when it comes to explaining why and when these coalitions are formed. This study takes stock of the vast theoretical literature on government coalition formation, in the predominantly western democratic context. It is argued that it is not reasonable to perceive coalition building as a completely random process, but that certain

structures affects the incentives for creating coalitions.

In a logistic regression analysis of 104 authoritarian elections in the period 1989-2004, it is shown that policy positions among oppositional parties together with incumbent economic performance is especially associated with the prospects of pre-electoral coalition building.

Electoral institutions do, however, have a surprisingly low effect on the probability of pre-electoral coalition formation, especially among electoral authoritarian countries with a low degree of electoral experience.


  • Political Science
  • authoritarianism
  • coalitions
  • democratization
  • Elections
  • economic performance
  • policy positions


International Studies Association Annual Convention, 2010

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